Some days it just pays to go to a party. No telling what will happen. Take three smallish events held Thursday--a birthday party for Gary Hart, in which the presidential hopeful neither showed up nor called, a benefit fashion show of "intimate apparel" in which nothing looked very intimate, and a gathering of American Film Institute supporters at which a $250,000 contribution almost went unmentioned.
First things first. Paul and Elizabeth Glaser hosted the 27th Congressional District party celebrating Hart's birthday, part of a national effort to show just how coordinated the 1984 also-ran is this time around. Showing up--Assemblyman Tom Hayden, whose organization is full-force behind the Hart candidacy; Rick Allen, the statewide Hart coordinator; long-time Hart supporters Patricia Duff Medavoy and her husband, Mike; entertainment attorney Bonnie Reiss; former Jerry-Brownie Roger Carrick; super fund-raiser Jody Evans, and perhaps as many as 100 other locals.
But wait--Mike Medavoy, he quickly explained, was only there as the husband of Patricia. A prime mover in Hart's 1984 campaign, he insisted that he was concentrating now on Orion, his movie company, and that his only involvement would be assisting his recent bride, who is herself a long-time political activist.
If there was a worry that Hayden's controversial actress wife Jane Fonda had been a detriment to Senate campaigns, there wasn't any evidence that she would remain low profile for the upcoming presidential race. In fact, Fonda media maven Stephen Rivers was chortling over her gift to just-elected Sen. Tom Daschle of 50 pounds of South Dakota steak. In the campaign, Daschle had been linked to Fonda, who, critics said, opposed the eating of red meat--the raising of which is a prime source of income in South Dakota.
And speaking of red meat, moving along to the Hamlet Gardens in Westwood. There, Warner Bros.' president Robert Daly, taking over as chairman of the American Film Institute's Second Decade Council, kiddingly explained that although he followed Frank Price in the post, "the way things go (in the movie business) Frank Price will be replacing me some day." Daly said he was hopeful that he would take the work done by Price and move it to new heights--and, when he received a $125,000 check from Eastman Kodak, Daly quipped "Sorry Frank. I'm going to do a better job."
The ever-charming AFI chair Bonita Granville Wrather was reminded that TV-producer Mark Goodsen had made a contribution of $250,000. Goodsen took the mike just for a second to say: "I can't afford it, but I cannot resist Bunny Wrather and Jean Firstenberg."
The crush of Second Decade Council members made for some interesting exchanges. Like Irving Rush to Diahann Carroll: "You're a stranger" and her reply: "In a way. But if you watch television. . . . " The party, hosted by Harry and Marilyn Lewis, had long-time supporters like Roz Rogers, producer David Foster, actress Joanna Cassidy, MCA's Marvin Antonowsky, Columbia chairman David Puttnam and wife Patsy, New World's Bob Rehme, producer Howard Koch, Mace and Helen Neufeld (he developed "Cagney & Lacey") and, from the show, Martin Kove (Lt. Isbeck). Neufeld and Kove met for the first time over the Hamlet's pizza.
AFI Director Firstenberg--whose warmth makes industry gatherings seem down home--made her way through the crush, waving an envelope and smiling, saying "I've got the check."
At lunch--over fancy fish on a bed of spinach--it was underwear all around. For a group that prides itself on slimming down to raise fat amounts for charity, the fashion show of Oscar de la Renta "intimate apparel" at Bullocks Wilshire was a little too unrevealing.
What was revealed was that SHARE chair Dolores Nemiro really has a big fan in Bullocks Wilshire boss Jerry Nemiro, who just happens to be her husband.
Of course, one extravagant compliment from Nemiro got greeted with kidding "Ahhhs" from the audience, prompting Polly Bergen to quip: "It's a rough crowd."
Some of the elaborate boudoir wear brought cheers from the audience--but one extravagantly ruffled white satin number prompted Ruth Berle to say, "It's a perfect outfit for Thanksgiving day--while you are basting the turkey."
The SHARE (Share Happily and Reap Endlessly) members certainly were happy to reveal what was going on between their annual turns at the chorus line.
Board member Sandra Moss--whose previous successes include "La Cage aux Folles"--is back in the Broadway producing mode, with "Blithe Spirit" set for April with Richard Chamberlain and Geraldine Page.
Joan Benny explained her bi-coastal life--she does it with duplication, making sure that even make-up is in both places.
Marianne Rogers said she was thrilled to be on the other side of the questions, as an interviewer on Andy Friendly's "Rock 'n' Roll Evening News" and was getting ready to film "Giant of Thunder Mountain" in June. Decorator Maxine Smith and Vera Gordon commiserated over the fire in the West Hollywood upholstery shop that destroyed their furniture--"And I saw it on television," Smith said, shaking her head at the final irony. Television is usually nicer to the Smith family, and they will head back east early next month, when her husband, Gary Smith, produces the annual "Christmas in Washington" special, complete with the First Family. Gordon's table at the fashion show was really special, since she and three other "Georgie White Scandal's" girls were there--Audrey Wilder (Billy's wife), CeCe Eames, and Florence Krauss.
De la Renta showed the problems of an outsider in L.A. when he told that earlier that day, veteran publicist Frank Liberman explained that he did work for SHARE--"And I thought he was talking about Cher the singer . . . It was a very agreeable surprise. Instead of Cher, I got all of you."